While it is rare to experience complications after a breast augmentation, they occur occasionally. One of the rarest is symmastia, where the breast implants meet in the middle of the chest without separation. Fortunately, there are effective methods to correct and prevent this complication.
What is Symmastia?
Symmastia has many different names, including “uni-boob,” “bread loafing,” “kissing breast implants,” and more. When symmastia occurs, the implants meet in the middle of the chest, lifting the skin off the sternum. In cases where the implants are placed beneath the muscle, it can also cause the lifting of the pectoral muscle away from the sternum. This can cause severe pain, discomfort, and noticeable distortion of the breasts.
Symmastia repair will differ depending on its severity, the initial placement of the implants, and the patient’s individual goals. A patient care concierge will guide you through the entire consultation process, which can be attended in person or virtually. During the consultation, your surgeon will learn about your goals, answer any questions, and perform an examination to create a personalized surgical plan. You will then be matched with a surgical coordinator who will walk you through each step of the preoperative process.
If the implants were initially placed above the muscle, a symmastia repair usually involves moving the implants under the muscle, creating a new pocket for the breast implant, and preventing them from moving to the middle chest position again.
If implants are placed beneath the muscle, your surgeon will determine which technique best repairs the symmastia. Breast implants will either be moved above the muscle, or a portion of the breast implant capsule will be used as an anchor so that the muscles and tissues can be sutured to the sternum. In other cases, the capsule is not used, and soft tissue grafts are instead used as anchors.
Regardless of the technique used, your surgeon will use a unique layered suturing technique to close all incisions that decreases tension during the healing process and allows minimal scarring.
It is normal to experience some soreness and swelling for the first two weeks following your symmastia repair. Pain relievers and cold compresses are typically used to ease these side effects during the early portion of the recovery process.
Your surgeon will provide specific instructions for optimal post-operative care, including an advanced scar management protocol after the initial healing period. Your surgical team is always available and will closely monitor your recovery in the weeks and months following surgery.
Read about the experience of a Barrett Plastic Surgery symmastia patient here.